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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Local doctor shares insight about COVID-19 recovery and after-effects

"The recovery from infection of COVID-19 can be widely variable depending on the initial burden of illness," Timothy Benton, M.D. said.

ODESSA, Texas — Here are some of the questions we've likely heard in our sleep by now:

  • Are you experiencing a fever, shortness or breath or cough?
  • Have you traveled outside of the country recently?

But something newer to the conversation --- recovery.

And doctors are learning more and more about it every day. 

Dr. Benton of the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center said to be considered recovered from COVID-19 you have to have 2 negative tests 24 hours apart after having had the virus for at least 10 days. You also have to be rid of all the symptoms.

"The key thing is following advice of your primary care physician because you may still remain infective to other people so you need to continue the precautions of social distancing, the masks," Timothy Benton, M.D., chairman of family and community medicine at TTUHSC said. 

Health authorities say the recovery process and its length are determined by the severity of the patient's illness.

The timeline can range from 10-14 days to well over a month. 

Doctors say in more extreme cases of COVID-19 that require being on a ventilator and in the ICU, the virus can have consequences beyond recovery. 

"When there is such severe illness that it interferes with blood-flow through the body whether that be coronavirus or any other infectious agent then other organs become damaged," Benton said. 

And in all local cases of deaths related to COVID-19, doctor Benton said other organs were damaged. 

After-effects of COVID-19 in cases of critical condition can include things like:

  • strokes
  • vascular events
  • heart attacks
  • blood clots
  • lung damage

But here's some good news: 

"If there are significant complications that develop during a critical illness or during recovery from critical illness, usually those would happen within the hospital setting," Benton said. 

We must keep doing what we know is best - staying sanitized and masked. 

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